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Problems Encountered At Albacon '88

Alistair Reid

Membership Desk

I spent most time there - so I know mostly problems in this area. There was nothing organised for taking memberships at night. This should have included:

There should have been a list of all membership rates. This should include children under the age of X, soft toys etc. Where reductions are introduced (late in the weekend), all the people working on the desk should be informed of this. Also, it should be explicitly stated whether this affects conversion rates. It would be best to post the rates on a board behind the desk.

There should be info on badge making. Specifically, how to make them, under what circumstances to replace them, what to do with the old badge (especially if they want it back at the end of the con) and who should have access to the machine. Should members be able to use it during quiet times to make up badges in return for a donation to charity and the cost price?

It might be a good idea to use the desk as a semi-secure storage area for things like Blu-tack, pens, paper etc. as it is always manned and will save getting into a secure store room for such trivia.

The desk should have copies of all leaflets and entry forms for competitions as well as fliers concerning events like the banquet or masquerade. The desk could also act as a message centre for people, lost items, etc.

As there will be so much happening there a checklist of all the forms etc. would be helpful to those manning the desk, as well as a "what to do in the following circumstances" list.

A large supply of pens and blank paper is essential.

General Events

Problems occurred in setting up rooms for events. A lot could have been avoided by having a committee member in charge of each event. This person should effectively act as an overseer - keeping it on time, doing gopher-duty that can be dropped instantly, collecting participants etc. Essential equipment should include a sheet for each event detailing :-

  1. Info for gophers - room layout, equipment list (and location).
  2. Info for sound and lighting crews.
  3. Info for participants - an outline of the item
  4. Info for committee member in charge including the above plus details of gophers involved.

There should be a timetable showing which committee member is required on duty at which event. They should also be warned to eat beforehand! Handover between keyholders or Duty Committee Members never seems to go well. The person taking over should bleep the person on duty. It may help to have photos available of less well-known people involved. (Polaroid? Group photo?) There should also be a sheet for all duty staff detailing bleep numbers and emergency procedures, especially medical emergencies.

There should be a large A3 copy of the programme outside every programme room and at the membership desk which is updated as changes occur. Someone must go round and do the updating. It might also be possible to have a "sandwich board" update notice carried round by someone.


This page updated on 09 July 1999